The teenager found burned on a SEPTA train has been identified by police as a West Philadelphia 15-year-old.
Raekwon Jones of Mill Creek was found dead atop a SEPTA Regional Rail train at Jefferson Station shortly before 8 a.m. Friday, Philadelphia police reported Tuesday. His cause of death had not been listed, police said.
Two sources with knowledge of the investigation said Jones was apparently electrocuted on top of the train overnight Friday at Suburban Station. It was unclear why he was on top of the train, but the sources said SEPTA police are present in the station overnight to conduct security sweeps of the station.
The Philadelphia Fire Department was called to Suburban Station about 1 a.m. Friday for a fire alarm, sources said, likely triggered by Jones’ electrocution. Firefighters went to the station but did not find Jones’ body.
It wasn’t discovered until after the train left Suburban Station and arrived at Jefferson.
Jones may have been a runaway, sources said. A 15-year-old by that name from Philadelphia was listed in a database maintained by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He had been missing since Sept. 29, according to that listing.
A spokeswoman for Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services would not comment on whether Jones had any relationship with that department. The agency provides information about children who die as a result of abuse or neglect, she said.
When Jones’ body was first discovered, SEPTA officials noted how dangerous the voltage at the top of Regional Rail trains could be. Trains are powered by almost 12,000 volts, and touching overhead wires or the pantograph, the device that connects the train to its power source, is deadly, officials said.
Even being near the wires or pantograph can kill, they said. If a person is near high voltage with metal in a pocket, the electricity can be drawn to the metal and arc toward the person.
SEPTA’s trains all bear warnings of the electrical current, officials said.